Jump to content

What's with the ads?


Photo

can someone explain the term "providential history" in detail


  • Please log in to reply
63 replies to this topic

What's with the ads?

#1 Iskra

Iskra

    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 226 posts

Posted 24 June 2012 - 05:42 PM

So, I'm toying with the idea of teaching American History next year, in addition to SOTW year 1 with my 2nd grader (frankly, I just can't wait 3 years to get to American History, and I'm anxious to learn more about it since I'm not from the US and haven't ever studies US history in details.)
I had been looking at different American History curricula and had trouble deciding, but then I run into a bunch of threads on this forum talking about some history curricula being untruthful, or providential etc, and now I'm even more confused and concerned and have even more trouble deciding.
So first, can someone please explain to me exactly what does the term "providential history" mean and then how it applies to history books.

Secondly, from the little bit of information here and there that I've gleaned on threads discussing this, it sounds to me like it is not so much that modern history books are being written in this way, but mostly that old ones (which are superior to modern ones in other ways: quality of narrative, ability to capture and retain the attention of young audiences etc) have this problem, and not so much as intentional deception, but rather more as a reflection on the prevalent opinions/views on history at the time that those books were written. In other words who is to say that a 100 years from now people that read history books written today will not find them equally objectionable for completely different reasons that we are now oblivious to because it is just how we view and understand the world and history at this point in time?
Please forgive my ignorance if I am misrepresenting the issue, because again I'm not even 100% what providential history means, but I'm hoping someone responding to this thread will help me understand.
So please suggest to me American History programs for a 2nd grader with lots of wonderful literature both fiction and non-fiction to go with it, lots of pictures etc. As far as the spine is concerned, I think I will like 2 of them. One from a secular perspective and one from the providential perspective so that they'll balance each other out and both perspectives will be presented (btw, are there other perspectives besides these two?) Also, for anything controversial in any book I want a warning and also if possible an explanation of what is controversial about it and a suggestion as to how to discuss it with the student, but I definitely do not want to censor out racist and other types of inappropriate content as long as it was considered appropriate at the time when the book was written. I just simply want the help to be able to discuss it with my kid and explain to him why it is wrong, but why it wasn't considered wrong back than.
Last but not least, I definitely want a warning if I'm going to be dealing with "Americans are better than everyone else" in a book, and not just what book it is in, but what chapter or page, because I don't read everything with my kids. There is quite a bit that they read on their own without me and I don't want issues like that to go unaddressed and unexplained.

#2 laundrycrisis

laundrycrisis

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2953 posts

Posted 24 June 2012 - 06:19 PM

I don't get into details so mine won't be a detailed description....but in a nutshell, providential history is coming from the perspective that a divine being was somehow favoring specific groups of people because of their allegiance, or the divine being was shaping events toward some planned outcome as part of a plan, etc. Basically any god having any influence at all over human historical events.

#3 Crimson Wife

Crimson Wife

    Qualified Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12498 posts

Posted 24 June 2012 - 06:29 PM

There are modern history books with a "providential" POV as well. Many of the big name Protestant publishing houses have a "providential" slant to their history books.

Here is an interesting article on the topic from Harper's Magazine from the authors of a book called America's Providential History. An excerpt:

"You cannot understand history without understanding Divine Providence. The whole of history can be looked at from a Biblical philosophy, because there is an overall purpose that unifies all the specific events of history. From a humanistic standpoint, there is no purpose in history and hence no unifying theme that ties the events of history together. Many modern educators deny the Providential view of history and would have us believe that their promotion of one of several “secular” views of history is simply the recounting of brute facts.

God’s plan for the nations has been unfolding in a specific geographic direction. This geographical march of history is called the Chain of Christianity or the Chain of Liberty. It seems as if God’s direction is westward. “Christian” geography (which is true geography) is the view that the earth’s origin, end, purposes, and physiography are for Christ and His glory. Like individuals, nations have a unique purpose. We will see throughout this book how God has raised up and put down nations of the world for His purposes."



I am a Christian, but this is not the POV that I hold. I love America, but I don't see our country as holding a unique position as God's favored nation that will restore Christ's rule over the Earth. That just seems like wishful thinking on our part, KWIM?

#4 Iskra

Iskra

    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 226 posts

Posted 24 June 2012 - 06:34 PM

Thanks for responding!...yes, I got that much from some of the threads on here, but that's just still too vague for me to wrap my mind around how it would influence say narratives about the civil war or revolutionary war etc...
Either way, any suggestion for a American history program from either (or both) of the perspectives (secular and providential) for a second grader?

x-posted ( I was responding to laundrycrisis)

#5 Samiam

Samiam

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2965 posts

Posted 24 June 2012 - 06:37 PM

My understanding in a nutshell is that it means the book speaks of God's hand in all that is history. God did this , God led this man to do that, God chose us, God made this happen etc....and specifically in American History, that God has chosen the U.S. as "the chosen land" and this makes the U.S. more glorious that everywhere else. I could be so wrong on this, but that's what I took away when I looked into it.

#6 Iskra

Iskra

    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 226 posts

Posted 24 June 2012 - 06:41 PM

Crimson Wife, that is very helpful....
So then if modern publishers hold this view, I would like to steer clear from them I think, but I still want to go through an old book from this perspective (one published when this is was the majority opinion), just so I can understand better the roots of all this modern US nationalism. This is really fascinating to me.

However can you recommend a good non-providential American History program? I was looking at Winter Promise American Story 1. Is that providential? Is it any good? Does anyone know?

#7 ElizaG

ElizaG

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1368 posts

Posted 24 June 2012 - 06:55 PM

I don't really understand it either. It seems to me that any Christian (or Jewish, or Muslim) curriculum could be called "providentialist" in the sense that the authors wrote with a sense of God's hand at work in history. The Catholic Schools Textbook Project actually uses the terms "Providence" and "providential care" in the introductions to their books. Although perhaps in a different way from some others, as in this line from All Ye Lands:

"The Judaeo-Christian tradition sees historical events as governed by Divine Providence, while at the same time warning believers against thinking that they are able to read the meaning of that Providence."

Is this perhaps the issue -- that some curricula talk about God's ways as if there were some simple formula for us to learn (and maybe even manipulate), rather than ultimately as a mystery?


#8 KrissiK

KrissiK

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4763 posts

Posted 24 June 2012 - 07:07 PM

I am a Christian, but this is not the POV that I hold. I love America, but I don't see our country as holding a unique position as God's favored nation that will restore Christ's rule over the Earth. That just seems like wishful thinking on our part, KWIM?


:iagree: I've never really felt we are a "Christian Nation" as a lot of people who hold to that point of view believe. Yes, we hold to Judeo/Christian values for the most part, many of the influential founders were indeed strong Christians (Pilgrims) and many of the Founding Fathers were Christians, but I do not believe we have ever been nationally Christian.

#9 KrissiK

KrissiK

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4763 posts

Posted 24 June 2012 - 07:09 PM

Crimson Wife, that is very helpful....
So then if modern publishers hold this view, I would like to steer clear from them I think, but I still want to go through an old book from this perspective (one published when this is was the majority opinion), just so I can understand better the roots of all this modern US nationalism. This is really fascinating to me.

However can you recommend a good non-providential American History program? I was looking at Winter Promise American Story 1. Is that providential? Is it any good? Does anyone know?


I don't think a lot of modern publishers hold to this view. A Beka history is very much this way. I imagine Bob Jones is, too, though I haven't looked too closely at that curriculum. Those two you'd probably want to avoid.

#10 KrissiK

KrissiK

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4763 posts

Posted 24 June 2012 - 07:15 PM

I don't really understand it either. It seems to me that any Christian (or Jewish, or Muslim) curriculum could be called "providentialist" in the sense that the authors wrote with a sense of God's hand at work in history. The Catholic Schools Textbook Project actually uses the terms "Providence" and "providential care" in the introductions to their books. Although perhaps in a different way from some others, as in this line from All Ye Lands:

"The Judaeo-Christian tradition sees historical events as governed by Divine Providence, while at the same time warning believers against thinking that they are able to read the meaning of that Providence."

Is this perhaps the issue -- that some curricula talk about God's ways as if there were some simple formula for us to learn (and maybe even manipulate), rather than ultimately as a mystery?

I think there's a difference between having a Providential View of American History and believing that God has a hand in history. The Providential View of American History, I believe (and I haven't done a ton of research, it's just what I've seen) implies that the Founding Fathers aligned more closely to Evangelical Christianity than they probably were and that we were a Christian nation in an evangelical sense. I would say that most Christians believe that God works through nations and throughout history, and I believe He has a hand in everything that goes in throughout the world. However, I do not believe that America is specially blessed because we are "Christian". Does that make any sense?

#11 ElizaG

ElizaG

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1368 posts

Posted 24 June 2012 - 07:23 PM

I think there's a difference between having a Providential View of American History and believing that God has a hand in history. The Providential View of American History, I believe (and I haven't done a ton of research, it's just what I've seen) implies that the Founding Fathers aligned more closely to Evangelical Christianity than they probably were and that we were a Christian nation in an evangelical sense. I would say that most Christians believe that God works through nations and throughout history, and I believe He has a hand in everything that goes in throughout the world. However, I do not believe that America is specially blessed because we are "Christian". Does that make any sense?

Sort of, but I'm not sure this is specifically an Evangelical idea. There seems to be a Catholic equivalent, which can be found in speeches by people like Cardinal Gibbons and Archbishop John Ireland. E.g. these passages, printed in a 5th grade Catholic school reader from 1909:

http://books.google....epage&q&f=false

We could say that they were just copying their Protestant neighbors, and maybe they were -- but patriotism allied with religious sentiment has a long history among Catholics. Think of Joan of Arc, for example.

#12 farrarwilliams

farrarwilliams

    Expert Cat Herder

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10724 posts

Posted 24 June 2012 - 07:24 PM

As far as the spine is concerned, I think I will like 2 of them. One from a secular perspective and one from the providential perspective so that they'll balance each other out and both perspectives will be presented (btw, are there other perspectives besides these two?)


This approach assumes two things that I think are incorrect.

First, that the two views of history are equal. They are not. Providential history is deeply flawed and even racist. I think there are different views of history that are potentially of equal importance to understand - SWB's history books take a "great man" approach that holds up the primary source documents as the most important resource while someone like Howard Zinn holds up social history as being of the most value and relies on archaeological and other evidence as being equal to primary source texts. These are two approaches that are different but both completely legitimate. Even if you believe that one is correct, the other would be something to which one ought to expose one's children. Providential history is not like that.

Second, this assumes that such an approach would be valuable to a second grader. I disagree. Even if they were somehow perspectives of equal merit, second grade, in the grammar stage, is not the time to introduce this type of analysis, in my opinion. I often think that WTM methods underestimate the need for critical thinking and analysis in the grammar stage, and I do believe in carefully exposing young children to a discussion of controversial topics. However, I don't think a second grader could really evaluate this without just absorbing it. Don't teach providential history to your child (beyond saying, if you encounter it briefly, "Some people mistakenly thought this at one point.") unless you want them to believe it as well.

#13 Chrysalis Academy

Chrysalis Academy

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4305 posts

Posted 24 June 2012 - 07:28 PM

I don't have anything to add to the definition of providential history - pps have explained it the way I understand it too. I wouldn't touch a providential history book with a 10-foot pole. However, I am reading Paul Johnson's History of the American People right now, and I find that I *so* much appreciate the fact that he actually discusses religion, and the impact of religion and religious beliefs, on the history of the country! I haven't read a lot of school history texts, but it seems like a number of secular texts are so reluctant to bring up religion - so that they will be acceptable to adoption committees? so that they won't mix church and state? - that they can't possibly give a very deep view of American history, in which religion and religious beliefs have figured prominently. Anyway, I guess that's a side note to the topic of the OP, but an interesting one I think . . .

ETA: I'm posting at the same time, so didn't see Farrar's post and the one it responds to. I agree completely that you can't achieve balance by presenting a providential view of history and a view of history which ignores religion altogether. They are both inaccurate, flawed, etc. I guess this is what I was trying to get at above - I will be looking for texts that cover the impact of religion and religious beliefs on history - you can't ignore this - but I would avoid texts with an explicitly providential view of history.

Edited by rroberts707, 24 June 2012 - 07:33 PM.


#14 Heather in VA

Heather in VA

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2712 posts

Posted 24 June 2012 - 08:21 PM

Someone with deeper understanding of the issue may need to correct me, but someone earlier asked for possible history programs who are now providential. I would say that Biblioplan would probably fit that bill. I don't doubt that some of the books on their list might be providential but the core books (their companion and SOTW etc) are not and there are many choices so you don't have to use a resource you don't like. It also schedules Mystery of History as an option and I couldn't find anything on the Mystery of History website that indicated they are providential which seems to be front and center on the websites of providential programs.

Up until this year I would have said Sonlight as well but I heard they added some books that are very controversial because of this issue. You'd have to ask someone else for details. I stayed out of it. Winter Promise might be not be providential. I don't know. I don't recommend them for other reasons.

It's strange. I'm a Christian. I know lots of Christians. I went to a Christian college. But I don't know anyone who believes these providential ideas. But in the homeschooling world it sure seems like most Christians are providential - or at least those who publish curriculum.

Heather

#15 Hunter

Hunter

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 9075 posts

Posted 24 June 2012 - 08:22 PM

My younger son went through a phase where he flat out refused to read history textbooks. He read encyclopedias instead, and sometimes a library book here or there, but mostly just encyclopedias.

And as for multiple choice tests. He would have preferred I light him on fire I think. He was indignant about the "propaganda" that the authors were trying to shove at him. I think this phase lasted from about ages 9-12. Then he was actually interested in what the Mennonite CLE worktexts had to say, and later on he tolerated the American School texts and DVDs from the library, as a quick and efficient way to make me go away and stop distracting him from his video games.

And I think at about age 11 he decided he was a communist, much to my horror at the time, before he managed to desensitize me to the idea. There was no using a typical middle school text with a baby communist. Sigh!

I'm just throwing out there for anyone struggling with history texts, that reading encyclopedias might be a temporary fix, or maybe even a permanent one.

#16 farrarwilliams

farrarwilliams

    Expert Cat Herder

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10724 posts

Posted 24 June 2012 - 09:39 PM

ETA: I'm posting at the same time, so didn't see Farrar's post and the one it responds to. I agree completely that you can't achieve balance by presenting a providential view of history and a view of history which ignores religion altogether. They are both inaccurate, flawed, etc. I guess this is what I was trying to get at above - I will be looking for texts that cover the impact of religion and religious beliefs on history - you can't ignore this - but I would avoid texts with an explicitly providential view of history.


That's how I see it too. I think religion's impact has to be a part of the study of history. I just think that's different from providential history. Even, as someone pointed out above, believing that God has a role in our lives (and therefore in creating history) is different from the providential history belief that God meant for white people to come to America and take it over.

#17 Dealea86

Dealea86

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 227 posts

Posted 24 June 2012 - 09:59 PM

So what history texts would be considered providential? Examples?

#18 4blessingmom

4blessingmom

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5262 posts

Posted 24 June 2012 - 10:21 PM

Providential history doesn't stop with the idea that the USA is specially blessed. It goes further and says that it is God's Will that the USA become/remain THE Christian Nation...that the USA is a new Israel, so to speak.


I am a Christian. I believe that God has blessed and is blessing and will continue to bless the USA. I do not believe in Providential History, however. I don't believe the idea has any basis in the Bible.

#19 Heather in VA

Heather in VA

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2712 posts

Posted 24 June 2012 - 10:27 PM

Providential history doesn't stop with the idea that the USA is specially blessed. It goes further and says that it is God's Will that the USA become/remain THE Christian Nation...that the USA is a new Israel, so to speak.


I am a Christian. I believe that God has blessed and is blessing and will continue to bless the USA. I do not believe in Providential History, however. I don't believe the idea has any basis in the Bible.


Providential History seems to have a disturbingly racist undertone. Do you know if those who believe in this providential history stuff believe this elevated status applies to all American Christians or just those with Anglo-Saxon Christian heritages. Until I started homeschooling I never knew there were Christians who believe these things.

Heather

#20 Mergath

Mergath

    Born Again Pagan

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 6635 posts

Posted 24 June 2012 - 10:52 PM

Providential History seems to have a disturbingly racist undertone. Do you know if those who believe in this providential history stuff believe this elevated status applies to all American Christians or just those with Anglo-Saxon Christian heritages. Until I started homeschooling I never knew there were Christians who believe these things.

Heather


Since becoming active in the homeschooling community, I've seen different groups of Christians who believe both. Though, in my experience, they usually tend to refer to the United States in a general way because it sounds less racist than saying "God gave white people good farmland and air conditioning because he likes us the best."

As you can probably tell, I find the whole idea of providential history repulsive.

#21 Heather in VA

Heather in VA

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2712 posts

Posted 24 June 2012 - 11:01 PM

Since becoming active in the homeschooling community, I've seen different groups of Christians who believe both. Though, in my experience, they usually tend to refer to the United States in a general way because it sounds less racist than saying "God gave white people good farmland and air conditioning because he likes us the best."

As you can probably tell, I find the whole idea of providential history repulsive.


The more I hear about it the more I'm filing it under 'repulsive' as well. For the longest time I thought it just meant that God is in control. That is Biblical. The rest of this stuff is icky.

Heather

#22 mom@shiloh

mom@shiloh

    Hive Mind Level 5 Worker: Forager Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 791 posts

Posted 24 June 2012 - 11:15 PM

This thread makes it sound as if this view is prevalent in many of the common history books used and recommended by homeschoolers. However, I'm beginning my 21st year of home educating and I can't say that I've EVER come across it in a book I was using. Our last time through US history we used Sonlight and I didn't see it there. I've also used Story of the World, Mystery of History, Tapestry of Grace and Truthquest and haven't seen it there. If you're using a curriculum with a Christian point of view, you will certainly hear that God's hand is in all of history, but in my understanding that is a long way from saying that Americans are the chosen people or the chosen nation.

#23 Spy Car

Spy Car

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 18006 posts

Posted 24 June 2012 - 11:26 PM

Providential History seems to have a disturbingly racist undertone. Do you know if those who believe in this providential history stuff believe this elevated status applies to all American Christians or just those with Anglo-Saxon Christian heritages. Until I started homeschooling I never knew there were Christians who believe these things.

Heather


:iagree:

Providential history is pretty much a cover for racism and white supremacism.

It is the elephant in the room.

Bill

#24 Hunter

Hunter

    Amateur Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 9075 posts

Posted 24 June 2012 - 11:29 PM

I've seen some things that surprised me. Some of the Logos Press and Veritas Press is blatant. Sometimes we must use our inferring skills to read the true message of other publishers.

I've realized that the noisiest posters are not necessarily representative of the majority's world view. Liberals are quicker to voice their revulsion. Conservatives and those with certain world views are quieter. The noise is not indicative of the pulse of the group.

#25 Heather in VA

Heather in VA

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2712 posts

Posted 24 June 2012 - 11:41 PM

This thread makes it sound as if this view is prevalent in many of the common history books used and recommended by homeschoolers. However, I'm beginning my 21st year of home educating and I can't say that I've EVER come across it in a book I was using. Our last time through US history we used Sonlight and I didn't see it there. I've also used Story of the World, Mystery of History, Tapestry of Grace and Truthquest and haven't seen it there. If you're using a curriculum with a Christian point of view, you will certainly hear that God's hand is in all of history, but in my understanding that is a long way from saying that Americans are the chosen people or the chosen nation.


That's where I get confused too. I've used and perused programs that call themselves providential and haven't seen it. But then I've skipped books in some programs I've known ahead of time I didn't agree with. Of the programs on your list I think only TOG calls itself providential. I haven't used that one.

Heather

#26 Heather in VA

Heather in VA

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2712 posts

Posted 24 June 2012 - 11:43 PM

I've seen some things that surprised me. Some of the Logos Press and Veritas Press is blatant. Sometimes we must use our inferring skills to read the true message of other publishers.

I've realized that the noisiest posters are not necessarily representative of the majority's world view. Liberals are quicker to voice their revulsion. Conservatives and those with certain world views are quieter. The noise is not indicative of the pulse of the group.


Well in the 'real world' I am considered very conservative but here in homeschool land I guess I'm a liberal LOL.

Heather

#27 laundrycrisis

laundrycrisis

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2953 posts

Posted 25 June 2012 - 12:55 AM

I'm pretty conservative but not religious. And any curriculum that advertises that it will "show God's hand in shaping history" or "how God has worked through the ages" is providential, because it's going in the direction of a deity with a master plan influencing human events and favoring some groups of humans over others. That is the offensive heart of providential history.

For a curriculum to be secular does not mean it can't ever discuss religion. It would be foolish and incomplete to write any history program that ignores the influence of religion. There is a huge difference between discussing the influence of religion vs the influence and favor of an active living god.

I have not found a great program for our kids and nothing for a 2nd grader. DS1 was not interested in history until I started using the EPS "Story of Western Civilization" workbooks in 3rd grade. I will only use things that are accepted by public schools, or published by secular publishers that do not have any religious views they are trying to promote. If I use something that seems neutral but I come across any providential ideas along the way, I will logically dissect them to make them really clear, and point them out to the child as an idea that some people believe, so that he will recognize this perspective when he encounters it in the future.

#28 Pylegang

Pylegang

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1021 posts

Posted 25 June 2012 - 01:13 AM

So, I'm toying with the idea of teaching American History next year, in addition to SOTW year 1 with my 2nd grader (frankly, I just can't wait 3 years to get to American History, and I'm anxious to learn more about it since I'm not from the US and haven't ever studies US history in details.)
I had been looking at different American History curricula and had trouble deciding, but then I run into a bunch of threads on this forum talking about some history curricula being untruthful, or providential etc, and now I'm even more confused and concerned and have even more trouble deciding.


The very best resources for understanding history are original sources. Read original documents and autobiographies. Educate yourself on history using these original sources to find truth and meaning yourself, then share what you’ve learned with your kids.

So first, can someone please explain to me exactly what does the term "providential history" mean and then how it applies to history books.

Providential history is the study of history from the perspective and belief that God moves in the events of men and nations—all men and all nations. Providential history looks at events from our past with Christian worldview.

Secondly, from the little bit of information here and there that I've gleaned on threads discussing this, it sounds to me like it is not so much that modern history books are being written in this way, but mostly that old ones (which are superior to modern ones in other ways: quality of narrative, ability to capture and retain the attention of young audiences etc) have this problem, and not so much as intentional deception, but rather more as a reflection on the prevalent opinions/views on history at the time that those books were written. In other words who is to say that a 100 years from now people that read history books written today will not find them equally objectionable for completely different reasons that we are now oblivious to because it is just how we view and understand the world and history at this point in time?

I think that old books do sometimes word things in an objectionable way. For example, words like “colored”, “savages”, etc. were used decades ago. A few publishers have found the value of the narrative and content of old history texts and have taken the time to update/revise the text. For example, Nothing New Press has updated HA Greuber’s history books. Many of our modern history writers attempt to remove religion from the stories from our past in an attempt to make the books more widely acceptable. But the undisputable fact is this: Many of our America’s founders and key people from U.S. history did believe in God and had strong religious beliefs. Original texts reveal this for sure!

Please forgive my ignorance if I am misrepresenting the issue, because again I'm not even 100% what providential history means, but I'm hoping someone responding to this thread will help me understand.
So please suggest to me American History programs for a 2nd grader with lots of wonderful literature both fiction and non-fiction to go with it, lots of pictures etc. As far as the spine is concerned, I think I will like 2 of them. One from a secular perspective and one from the providential perspective so that they'll balance each other out and both perspectives will be presented (btw, are there other perspectives besides these two?)

An excellent U.S. history text for YOU to read for your own education is: “A Patriot’s History of the United States”. Two very good U.S. history programs for young kids are Sonlight and My Father’s World. Both are filled will living books, both fiction and non-fiction. Both are Christian programs. You might really appreciate the commentary in Sonlight. I have used and very much like the Veritas Press history cards, mostly because they provide nice “history pegs” for us to learn about. We use a kids encyclopedia and living books to flesh out the details that each card outlines. Some people don’t like VP materials, but we have found that the history cards are flexible, easy to use, and almost always enjoy their literature recommendations found in their catalog. Some of the US history cards include:
Jamestown is founded in America, The Mayflower Lands at Plymouth, Pilgrims build Plymouth Colony, America Declares its Independence, George Washington our First President, etc. Note: these cards do include key individuals who were instrumental to the Reformation movement.

Also, for anything controversial in any book I want a warning and also if possible an explanation of what is controversial about it and a suggestion as to how to discuss it with the student, but I definitely do not want to censor out racist and other types of inappropriate content as long as it was considered appropriate at the time when the book was written. I just simply want the help to be able to discuss it with my kid and explain to him why it is wrong, but why it wasn't considered wrong back than.

I think you will probably be able to discern right/wrong, just/unjust, etc. as you read about and think about things from America’s past and compare the events to your moral compass. Unfortunately, many will find that any history text that contains Christian content controversial – even if the Christian content is based on original documents/sources.

You are brave to ask about Providential History on this board. Many will shout that it is some horrible practice. As you know we can all find fringe people just about anywhere. Most Christians who use providential resources (such as Beautiful Feet Books or Tapestry of Grace) simply want to bring historical events to their children with a Biblical worldview.

.



#29 BugsMama

BugsMama

    Eats Cupcakes for Breakfast

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1175 posts

Posted 25 June 2012 - 01:29 AM

Someone correct me if I am wrong, but I think Abeka may be like this. Someone gave me Abeka's K or 1st grade (I don't know if it was meant to be history or civics) but one of the first pages said something like "America is the BEST country", and it went on to say other questionable things about christians and the founding of the country. I gave it back, mostly because while we are an american military family, we live in another country and spend lots of time with people of other nations and the last thing I want is my children to be taught from a book that they are the BEST simply because they are american and God made america the best.

#30 BugsMama

BugsMama

    Eats Cupcakes for Breakfast

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1175 posts

Posted 25 June 2012 - 01:32 AM



You are brave to ask about Providential History on this board. Many will shout that it is some horrible practice. As you know we can all find fringe people just about anywhere.


:001_huh:
People who disagree with providential history are now "fringe"?
:001_huh:

#31 hollyh

hollyh

    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 590 posts

Posted 25 June 2012 - 02:10 AM

[quote name='3blessingmom']Providential history doesn't stop with the idea that the USA is specially blessed. It goes further and says that it is God's Will that the USA become/remain THE Christian Nation...that the USA is a new Israel, so to speak.

I don't know anything about what is/isn't providential history, and am kind of intrigued by it all. However, this quote seems awfully strong- is there basis for this? Where is this coming from? Is there a book that talks about it like this?

#32 Iskra

Iskra

    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 226 posts

Posted 25 June 2012 - 05:36 AM

Thank you everyone for this discussion. I'm learning a lot!

this line from All Ye Lands:

"The Judaeo-Christian tradition sees historical events as governed by Divine Providence, while at the same time warning believers against thinking that they are able to read the meaning of that Providence."

Is this perhaps the issue -- that some curricula talk about God's ways as if there were some simple formula for us to learn (and maybe even manipulate), rather than ultimately as a mystery?

I think this may be a very important point. There's a big difference between "God directs history" and "God directs history, therefore US is the best country in the world". I don't have a problem with the former, but I sure do have a problem with the latter.




This approach assumes two things that I think are incorrect.

First, that the two views of history are equal. They are not. Providential history is deeply flawed and even racist. I think there are different views of history that are potentially of equal importance to understand - SWB's history books take a "great man" approach that holds up the primary source documents as the most important resource while someone like Howard Zinn holds up social history as being of the most value and relies on archaeological and other evidence as being equal to primary source texts. These are two approaches that are different but both completely legitimate. Even if you believe that one is correct, the other would be something to which one ought to expose one's children. Providential history is not like that.

Second, this assumes that such an approach would be valuable to a second grader. I disagree. Even if they were somehow perspectives of equal merit, second grade, in the grammar stage, is not the time to introduce this type of analysis, in my opinion. I often think that WTM methods underestimate the need for critical thinking and analysis in the grammar stage, and I do believe in carefully exposing young children to a discussion of controversial topics. However, I don't think a second grader could really evaluate this without just absorbing it. Don't teach providential history to your child (beyond saying, if you encounter it briefly, "Some people mistakenly thought this at one point.") unless you want them to believe it as well.


Thank you Farrar. This was very helpful. I'm a confused a bit about the difference between SWB and Howard Zinn. Story of the world starts out with the importance of archeology in its introduction and explains to us how we learn history through archeology. What other sources does Zinn consider to have equal merit with original sources? And what is social history?




Someone with deeper understanding of the issue may need to correct me, but someone earlier asked for possible history programs who are now providential. I would say that Biblioplan would probably fit that bill. I don't doubt that some of the books on their list might be providential but the core books (their companion and SOTW etc) are not and there are many choices so you don't have to use a resource you don't like. It also schedules Mystery of History as an option and I couldn't find anything on the Mystery of History website that indicated they are providential which seems to be front and center on the websites of providential programs.

Up until this year I would have said Sonlight as well but I heard they added some books that are very controversial because of this issue. You'd have to ask someone else for details. I stayed out of it. Winter Promise might be not be providential. I don't know. I don't recommend them for other reasons.

It's strange. I'm a Christian. I know lots of Christians. I went to a Christian college. But I don't know anyone who believes these providential ideas. But in the homeschooling world it sure seems like most Christians are providential - or at least those who publish curriculum.

Heather

Thank you for the suggestion of Biblioplan. I have not checked it out before. I will take a look at it. As for sonlight, I read the controversial thread and that's how I learned to ask about providential history. I honestly think that the fact that they discuss and warn you about the controversies in their notes for the book in question is good enough for me. I usually really enjoy their choice of books. So that's still not off the table for me, although I'm leaning against it for other reasons.
However, I would really appreciate an explanation of why you don't recommend Winter Promise, because I'm still seriously considering their American Story 1 program, but I've never dealt with that company before and I don't know much about them. So, please share your thoughts as to why you wouldn't use them.

#33 Iskra

Iskra

    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 226 posts

Posted 25 June 2012 - 05:37 AM

So, I'm toying with the idea of teaching American History next year, in addition to SOTW year 1 with my 2nd grader (frankly, I just can't wait 3 years to get to American History, and I'm anxious to learn more about it since I'm not from the US and haven't ever studies US history in details.)
I had been looking at different American History curricula and had trouble deciding, but then I run into a bunch of threads on this forum talking about some history curricula being untruthful, or providential etc, and now I'm even more confused and concerned and have even more trouble deciding.


The very best resources for understanding history are original sources. Read original documents and autobiographies. Educate yourself on history using these original sources to find truth and meaning yourself, then share what you’ve learned with your kids.

So first, can someone please explain to me exactly what does the term "providential history" mean and then how it applies to history books.

Providential history is the study of history from the perspective and belief that God moves in the events of men and nations—all men and all nations. Providential history looks at events from our past with Christian worldview.

Secondly, from the little bit of information here and there that I've gleaned on threads discussing this, it sounds to me like it is not so much that modern history books are being written in this way, but mostly that old ones (which are superior to modern ones in other ways: quality of narrative, ability to capture and retain the attention of young audiences etc) have this problem, and not so much as intentional deception, but rather more as a reflection on the prevalent opinions/views on history at the time that those books were written. In other words who is to say that a 100 years from now people that read history books written today will not find them equally objectionable for completely different reasons that we are now oblivious to because it is just how we view and understand the world and history at this point in time?

I think that old books do sometimes word things in an objectionable way. For example, words like “colored”, “savages”, etc. were used decades ago. A few publishers have found the value of the narrative and content of old history texts and have taken the time to update/revise the text. For example, Nothing New Press has updated HA Greuber’s history books. Many of our modern history writers attempt to remove religion from the stories from our past in an attempt to make the books more widely acceptable. But the undisputable fact is this: Many of our America’s founders and key people from U.S. history did believe in God and had strong religious beliefs. Original texts reveal this for sure!

Please forgive my ignorance if I am misrepresenting the issue, because again I'm not even 100% what providential history means, but I'm hoping someone responding to this thread will help me understand.
So please suggest to me American History programs for a 2nd grader with lots of wonderful literature both fiction and non-fiction to go with it, lots of pictures etc. As far as the spine is concerned, I think I will like 2 of them. One from a secular perspective and one from the providential perspective so that they'll balance each other out and both perspectives will be presented (btw, are there other perspectives besides these two?)

An excellent U.S. history text for YOU to read for your own education is: “A Patriot’s History of the United States”. Two very good U.S. history programs for young kids are Sonlight and My Father’s World. Both are filled will living books, both fiction and non-fiction. Both are Christian programs. You might really appreciate the commentary in Sonlight. I have used and very much like the Veritas Press history cards, mostly because they provide nice “history pegs” for us to learn about. We use a kids encyclopedia and living books to flesh out the details that each card outlines. Some people don’t like VP materials, but we have found that the history cards are flexible, easy to use, and almost always enjoy their literature recommendations found in their catalog. Some of the US history cards include:
Jamestown is founded in America, The Mayflower Lands at Plymouth, Pilgrims build Plymouth Colony, America Declares its Independence, George Washington our First President, etc. Note: these cards do include key individuals who were instrumental to the Reformation movement.

Also, for anything controversial in any book I want a warning and also if possible an explanation of what is controversial about it and a suggestion as to how to discuss it with the student, but I definitely do not want to censor out racist and other types of inappropriate content as long as it was considered appropriate at the time when the book was written. I just simply want the help to be able to discuss it with my kid and explain to him why it is wrong, but why it wasn't considered wrong back than.

I think you will probably be able to discern right/wrong, just/unjust, etc. as you read about and think about things from America’s past and compare the events to your moral compass. Unfortunately, many will find that any history text that contains Christian content controversial – even if the Christian content is based on original documents/sources.

You are brave to ask about Providential History on this board. Many will shout that it is some horrible practice. As you know we can all find fringe people just about anywhere. Most Christians who use providential resources (such as Beautiful Feet Books or Tapestry of Grace) simply want to bring historical events to their children with a Biblical worldview.

.

This was very helpful too, so thank you! I have not looked at MFW, but I will take a look. So, it sounds to me like just because a resource is labeling itself as providential it doesn't necessarily mean that they espouse the unbiblical "Americans are chosen by God and are better than everybody else" view. For some of these curricula "providential" really means God's hand is in it and that's it. So, how can you know, before purchasing, just by looking at their websites, without having read the books whether they hold the biblical "providential" view or the unbiblical, racist one? Can someone give me a list of good history programs who hold to the biblical view?
Also, as far as secular programs go, I definitely want them to discuss religion as it is an integral part of history, so I still need suggestions for secular American history appropriate for a 2nd grader.






:001_huh:
People who disagree with providential history are now "fringe"?
:001_huh:


I think what she meant was that people who think that Americans are superior to other people are fringe, but I don't think I agree completely. I encounter it all the time, just in reading the news.





So everyone, if you've done US History with a lower elementary student and liked the program, please chime in with suggestions. I don't want to piece my own program together. Like I said, I'm not from the US and don't know enough about US history to do that. I want to buy a complete program. One additional criterium is that I want it to be doable along side SOTW 1, as our main focus will still be studying ancient times and obviously math and LA and other things will need to get done as well: so nothing too time consuming or overwhelming.

#34 boscopup

boscopup

    Qualified Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10762 posts

Posted 25 June 2012 - 06:38 AM

There appear to be two definitions of providential history:

1) The US is God's "new Israel". I personally have never actually met someone who believed in this, but I know such people exist.

2) God controls every detail of history. This is the more common view held by many Christian denominations.

I personally believe that God has his hand in history, but not in every little detail, and I don't know which details his hand is in and which details he's left up to us. I think #2 tends to come from more of a Calvinist viewpoint, which I do not hold. Many curricula are of the #2 type, whereas very few are of the #1 type (is A Beka in there? Not sure - never seen the books).

An example of the #2 type would be, "God used Columbus to discover America." Now when you think about that, it's possible that He did (to spread the gospel to these lands), and it's also possible that He didn't. Knowing the atrocities that happened because of Columbus and at the hands of Columbus, I have a hard time saying that, for sure, God used Columbus. God did sometimes use bad people, even bad people that did atrocious things - that's Biblical. But at the same time, God also let humans have free choice to make their own mistakes. So I will teach that God used someone to do such-and-such IF the Bible specifically says he did, but I just can't teach that God used someone in the post-Biblical era to do something - I have no knowledge of that. I have no revelation from God beyond what is in the Bible, and that revelation is complete. Anything else, I just don't need to know. I know that God is capable of doing anything, and I know that God knows everything. But that doesn't mean he DOES do everything. I don't think he has his hand in me brushing my teeth every morning and every evening. I think he leaves my dental health up to me. :D

I am happily using Sonlight Core D this year with my 3rd grader (I wouldn't recommend it for 2nd grade though). It's an older version that doesn't have the providential history books added in, but the ones added in this year are 5th day only, so they'd be easy to leave out. The rest of the books are non-providential.

#35 Iskra

Iskra

    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 226 posts

Posted 25 June 2012 - 06:51 AM

boscopup, from your siggy I see that your oldest 2 are the same age as mine are going to be in the fall, so if you're using core D right now with a 7 year old, do you still think it would be too much for a 2nd grader (who will be 7 when we do this)?

#36 stripe

stripe

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 13113 posts

Posted 25 June 2012 - 07:02 AM

:001_huh:
People who disagree with providential history are now "fringe"?
:001_huh:


I think she's saying most believers in providential history are totally normal, even though people on the board act as if all providential history believers are fringe.

I do NOT think most people on this board think those who believe the US is the greatest are ultra conservative. Joy Hakim espouses this view (the US is a great and special country) and some people act as if she's the antichrist.

My understanding of providential is the idea that God shaped this nation, has an overt political agenda, and the US is the embdiment of evangelical Christian belief of enjoying all of God's blessings by, for example, eating lots of meat and running our air conditioners because God made this promised land full of resources.

Edited by stripe, 25 June 2012 - 07:05 AM.


#37 farrarwilliams

farrarwilliams

    Expert Cat Herder

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10724 posts

Posted 25 June 2012 - 07:45 AM

Thank you Farrar. This was very helpful. I'm a confused a bit about the difference between SWB and Howard Zinn. Story of the world starts out with the importance of archeology in its introduction and explains to us how we learn history through archeology. What other sources does Zinn consider to have equal merit with original sources? And what is social history?


For pre-history, yes, but you'll note it gets a short not very detailed chapter. But once history begins, my understanding is that she believes that texts should carry much heavier weight. Social history is simply the study of the history of everyday people and acts. So how class structure has changed is social history, how marriage has changed in social history, how jobs have changed is social history. SOTW has very little social history included. An historian who thinks social history is as important as political and cultural history would have to rely on archaeological and anthropological evidence to get a well-rounded picture of everyday life because until very recently poor people didn't read or write and they're often the majority of people in a society.

I think you can say the United States is a great and special country because it's something you could back up only with historical facts and arguments - that the US was the world's first modern democracy, that we've sustained our political system for a long time, that other nations have modeled their system on ours, etc. Providential history can't be backed up except by arguments of faith. If that's what you believe, then it's what you believe, but it's not history.

#38 Iskra

Iskra

    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 226 posts

Posted 25 June 2012 - 08:04 AM

So what would be examples of anthropological evidence aside from archeological evidence?

#39 boscopup

boscopup

    Qualified Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10762 posts

Posted 25 June 2012 - 08:08 AM

boscopup, from your siggy I see that your oldest 2 are the same age as mine are going to be in the fall, so if you're using core D right now with a 7 year old, do you still think it would be too much for a 2nd grader (who will be 7 when we do this)?


My siggy will change to '8' on Wednesday. ;) I'm basically using it with an advanced 3rd grader who LOVES history and LOVES to read and understands fairly high level history topics better than the average 3rd grader. We did start Core D at the end of his 2nd grade year, doing about 4 weeks of it, but I can see why people often recommend it for 4th. It's a good fit for my DS as a 3rd grader, but I wouldn't recommend it for most 2nd graders. It is fairly deep, and Sonlight doesn't shy away from topics such as slavery, bad treatment of Native Americans, etc.

Sonlight lists Core D as being for "9, 10, and 11 year olds, and advanced 8 year olds". I think that's fairly accurate, due to the content presented.

#40 Pylegang

Pylegang

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1021 posts

Posted 25 June 2012 - 09:39 AM

:001_huh:
People who disagree with providential history are now "fringe"?
:001_huh:


Oh, stop. I certainly did not say or mean that someone who disagrees with providential history is now "fringe". Nor did I say or mean that someeone who does believe in providential history is "fringe". Someone who disagrees with providential history simply disagrees with providential history. Someone who believes in it, simply believes in it. They are not fringe either. As you know one can go to the absolute far extreme of either viewpoint. The reality is that many, many (maybe most?) people who use providential history resources do believe that God cares about all of us and works in the lives of his people and has through all of time, throughout the whole world. I believe this! Benjamin Franklin once wondered about the work of Providence when he wrote:

“The longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?”

He may have been thinking of the Bible verse in Matthew 10:29-31 that says this:

29 Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

#41 ktgrok

ktgrok

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 8079 posts

Posted 25 June 2012 - 10:23 AM

For pre-history, yes, but you'll note it gets a short not very detailed chapter. But once history begins, my understanding is that she believes that texts should carry much heavier weight. Social history is simply the study of the history of everyday people and acts. So how class structure has changed is social history, how marriage has changed in social history, how jobs have changed is social history. SOTW has very little social history included. An historian who thinks social history is as important as political and cultural history would have to rely on archaeological and anthropological evidence to get a well-rounded picture of everyday life because until very recently poor people didn't read or write and they're often the majority of people in a society.

.


Yes, this becomes more apparant in her adult books....I have History of the Ancient World and this is very clear there. She relies on stories, documents, etc...written history of great events.

Personally, I prefer a social history approach, so for me her text is really dry and uninteresting. I want the details of life, not the outline.....(I like anthropology much more than history in college, for this reason).

Thanks for pointing out why I didn't enjoy that book, I hadn't really thought of it. I'm more a "living history" person....take me to a historical recreation like our local "pioneer village" or give me historical fiction or biographies...those I love. But typical texts, especially document based ones, just don't appeal.

#42 ktgrok

ktgrok

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 8079 posts

Posted 25 June 2012 - 10:27 AM

So everyone, if you've done US History with a lower elementary student and liked the program, please chime in with suggestions. I don't want to piece my own program together. Like I said, I'm not from the US and don't know enough about US history to do that. I want to buy a complete program. One additional criterium is that I want it to be doable along side SOTW 1, as our main focus will still be studying ancient times and obviously math and LA and other things will need to get done as well: so nothing too time consuming or overwhelming.


Ok, personally I don't think you can do a great, in depth, full curriculum for both ancient and american history at the same time. I think that is totally overkill. Can I make a suggestion?

Either just do American next year, because you are interested in it, and that is fine, OR do ancients, but supplement on the American Holidays with American History. So, around Columbus Day get some picture books on Columbus. On 4th of July find some on the declaration of Independence. At thanksgiving study the pilgrims and such. Etc etc. This will give you some American history without being overwhelming.

#43 Pylegang

Pylegang

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1021 posts

Posted 25 June 2012 - 10:35 AM

I believe someone already mentioned Biblioplan. It does an excellent job of scheduling SOTW and other resources for you. They do weave in Christian info. This is a four year program. U.S. history would be covered in yr. 3 and yr. 4.

I agree with the previous poster, it will be difficult to study Ancients and U.S. history at the same time. U.S. history didn't really begin until the 1500s and 1600s when explorers began trying to settle the "New World".

Sonlight is another great option.

#44 farrarwilliams

farrarwilliams

    Expert Cat Herder

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10724 posts

Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:02 AM

So what would be examples of anthropological evidence aside from archeological evidence?


Oral history, music, traditions, festivals, rituals... Sometimes looking at how these evolved over time gives us insight into people generations before.

Thanks for pointing out why I didn't enjoy that book, I hadn't really thought of it. I'm more a "living history" person....take me to a historical recreation like our local "pioneer village" or give me historical fiction or biographies...those I love. But typical texts, especially document based ones, just don't appeal.


Yeah, I went through SOTW 1 with my kids and enjoyed it okay, but there was something missing that I couldn't quite put my finger on. Then we did SOTW 2, which covers history with which I'm much more familiar, and I realized exactly what was missing. Where was the feudal system? The peasant revolts? The emergence of towns? The beginning of the middle class? And I realized I was kinda done using it as our spine. I mean, if there's anything I wanted my kids to take away from studying the middle ages, it was that there was a system in place with the nobles having obligations to the peasants and the peasants having obligations to the nobles and the church reinforcing that this system was somehow ordained by God. And that's not really in there. So... Still a good resource for us, but no longer the main one.

Oh, and agreed with others that full on world history and US history in the same year - especially when it's the ancients for world history and therefore completely unconnected - is too much history.

#45 laundrycrisis

laundrycrisis

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2953 posts

Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:38 AM

I think you can say the United States is a great and special country because it's something you could back up only with historical facts and arguments - that the US was the world's first modern democracy, that we've sustained our political system for a long time, that other nations have modeled their system on ours, etc. Providential history can't be backed up except by arguments of faith. If that's what you believe, then it's what you believe, but it's not history.


:iagree: Amen !!!! :lol:

#46 Heather in VA

Heather in VA

    Empress Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2712 posts

Posted 25 June 2012 - 11:54 AM

Thank you for the suggestion of Biblioplan. I have not checked it out before. I will take a look at it. As for sonlight, I read the controversial thread and that's how I learned to ask about providential history. I honestly think that the fact that they discuss and warn you about the controversies in their notes for the book in question is good enough for me. I usually really enjoy their choice of books. So that's still not off the table for me, although I'm leaning against it for other reasons.
However, I would really appreciate an explanation of why you don't recommend Winter Promise, because I'm still seriously considering their American Story 1 program, but I've never dealt with that company before and I don't know much about them. So, please share your thoughts as to why you wouldn't use them.



I agree about Sonlight. My personal feelings from what I saw was that the controversial books were easily discarded but I didn't want to just say SL wasn't providential because of the recent bru-ha-ha (is that how you spell that LOL).

I don't recommend Winter Promise primarily because of their business practices and also because their guides and programs have errors and mistakes they have been told about for years and don't fit. I could go into detail but that would be seriously off topic for this post. If you search the board for Winter Promise you should find many threads about the problems with WP. It's too bad too because it has a lot going for it.

Heather

#47 Iskra

Iskra

    Hive Mind Level 2 Worker: Nurse Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 226 posts

Posted 25 June 2012 - 12:05 PM

Yeah, I went through SOTW 1 with my kids and enjoyed it okay, but there was something missing that I couldn't quite put my finger on. Then we did SOTW 2, which covers history with which I'm much more familiar, and I realized exactly what was missing. Where was the feudal system? The peasant revolts? The emergence of towns? The beginning of the middle class? And I realized I was kinda done using it as our spine. I mean, if there's anything I wanted my kids to take away from studying the middle ages, it was that there was a system in place with the nobles having obligations to the peasants and the peasants having obligations to the nobles and the church reinforcing that this system was somehow ordained by God. And that's not really in there. So... Still a good resource for us, but no longer the main one.


So what do you use as a spine for early elementary instead of SOTW? And what book list do you use for the living books? I'm intrigued by this anthropological approach.

And I think you guys have convinced me to drop American History for now and wait till it comes up in the 4 year history cycle.

#48 ktgrok

ktgrok

    Apprentice Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 8079 posts

Posted 25 June 2012 - 12:14 PM

So what do you use as a spine for early elementary instead of SOTW? And what book list do you use for the living books? I'm intrigued by this anthropological approach.

And I think you guys have convinced me to drop American History for now and wait till it comes up in the 4 year history cycle.


I still use it, just add to it. We will be doing Sonlight for that reason...I think all the historical ficition will fill that need for us.

#49 farrarwilliams

farrarwilliams

    Expert Cat Herder

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10724 posts

Posted 25 June 2012 - 01:10 PM

So what do you use as a spine for early elementary instead of SOTW? And what book list do you use for the living books? I'm intrigued by this anthropological approach.

And I think you guys have convinced me to drop American History for now and wait till it comes up in the 4 year history cycle.


I like Builders of the Old World by Gertrude Hartman as an alternative to SOTW 1 & 2. It's got a nice tone and both the great man and the social history stuff. It does not have as much for non- European history so it needs supplements. Nothing's perfect. And SOTW isn't bad, IMO, we used that for the ancients and it was okay. The SOTW book lists are fine, but I also didn't find them totally necessary for me - I just find books. It helps to have some familiarity with children's books, I guess.

We are finishing taking a year off for US history now. Nothing perfect for that either. :tongue_smilie:

ETA: I wouldn't say we have an anthropological approach though... I do personally believe that historical evidence other than traditional textual accounts is just as important and valid. I meant that more as an example of two historical approaches that are both legitimate academically, in contrast to providential history. We do, however, focus on social history nearly as much as political and cultural history, which is the part of SOTW that I personally think needs supplementation.

Edited by farrarwilliams, 25 June 2012 - 01:17 PM.


#50 BugsMama

BugsMama

    Eats Cupcakes for Breakfast

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1175 posts

Posted 25 June 2012 - 02:49 PM

Oh, stop. I certainly did not say or mean that someone who disagrees with providential history is now "fringe". Nor did I say or mean that someeone who does believe in providential history is "fringe". Someone who disagrees with providential history simply disagrees with providential history. Someone who believes in it, simply believes in it. They are not fringe either. As you know one can go to the absolute far extreme of either viewpoint. The reality is that many, many (maybe most?) people who use providential history resources do believe that God cares about all of us and works in the lives of his people and has through all of time, throughout the whole world. I believe this! Benjamin Franklin once wondered about the work of Providence when he wrote:

“The longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?”

He may have been thinking of the Bible verse in Matthew 10:29-31 that says this:

29 Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.


I'm sorry- I didn't mean to sound as if I was attacking you- I was just trying to figure out WHO was considered fringe in your original comment. Which apparently isn't anyone, and I am cool with that too. I'm a lover, not a fighter. Next time, I won't post on the run :001_smile:.

I'm not a christian, so the bible verse doesn't really help me make sense of the idea of providence on a personal level, but I see where you are making the connection with Ben Franklin. Your understanding is simply that god made this country what it is, right? But that doesn't mean that it is "better"?


What's with the ads?